It has been reported that John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, is ‘seriously reflecting’ as staying on as Speaker until 2022 – in defiance of his original plans to step-down in the summer of 2019.
This change of heart has allegedly been caused by the threat of being denied a peerage – an honour given to those following their service as Speaker.
Ministers have accused Mr. Bercow of ‘bias’ over Brexit – believing that his thoughts and sentiments have led him to violate the impartiality of his position. These claims have been strenuously denied.
He was recently criticised for allegedly driving a vehicle with a sticker in the window stating: ‘Bollocks to Brexit’. But, Mr. Bercow pointed out that the vehicle was his wife’s and she is fully entitled to her opinions – also that it would not be proper for a man to control the thoughts of his wife, as she is not property.
Government sources alleged that Mr. Bercow was accused of ‘cheating centuries of procedure’ and as such should not be elevated to the House of Lords. He has been viewed as being sympathetic to the Labour Party as well as those supporting Remain.
One senior Member of Parliament stated: ‘The Speaker will play a critical role in the coming days, selecting amendments and determining parliamentary business. If ministers thought it was a good idea to put his back up they may regret it.’
It was believed that the Speaker would step-down in the summer of 2019 – following the conclusion of the withdrawal from the European Union. He was also caught up in allegations regarding a culture of ‘bullying’ in the House of Commons.
Analysis from Thomas Howard, Editor at TPN:
These accusations levied by some ministers have a poor foundation, hence at present there is nothing which can be done. They believe that the only retribution achievable would be to deny Mr. Bercow elevation to the House of Lords – a tradition which has lasted decades. It seems that the divisions of Brexit are continuing to threaten the foundations of democracy in the United Kingdom.
In response, Mr. Bercow is fully entitled to maintain his position until 2022 – unless formally challenged by the House of Commons. It appears that he will not cave in to the attempt to ensure that he follows the direction of the Government.